Top models at Salisbury Museum

Top models at Salisbury Museum

The conservation of Pitt Rivers’ archaeological models from 1890’s 

Part 1

Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum

The Wiltshire Conservation Service brought a conservation laboratory to Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum and opened their doors to the public.

Conservation exhibition hall

Watch our conservation video:

The team of conservators and volunteers cleaned, repaired and conserved four large archaeological models designed by the famous archaeologist, General Augustus Henry Lane Fox Pitt Rivers (14 April 1827 – 4 May 1900). General Pitt Rivers is regarded as having been a generation ahead of his time and is often described as the ‘father of scientific archaeology.

 Wansdyke site, 1889
This scale 3D model depicts the Wansdyke site, excavated by Pitt Rivers in 1889

The archaeological models had been in storage for over 30 years and had not been accessible to the public. It was a rare opportunity to see them on display as part of the conservation exhibition.

 Bokerley Dyke model This scale 3D model depicts the Bokerley Dyke site, excavated by Pitt Rivers in 1888

At many museums there is only ever enough space to display a small proportion of the collection at any one time. These models are very large and although they provide a significant resource, they do take up a good deal of space within a gallery. To make the most of the gallery space, smaller examples of Pitt Rivers’ models have been on display.  By conserving these large models today, the Conservation Service will ensure that they will be protected and remain in good condition for the future.

More posts to come……

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